Today is Pentecost Sunday. Whatever Christians may feel about the importance (or unimportance) of observing the traditional Christian calendar, one thing is certain.
The Day of Pentecost recorded in the 2nd Chapter of Acts is one of the most amazing events in the New Testament. It distinguishes the earthly ministry of Jesus and the institution of the church and as worthy of celebration, as Christmas and Easter.
Pentecost is celebrated on the Sunday closest to the 50th day from Easter. If anything, this miracle and Peter's sermon explaining it, ought to be read more often than once a year.
But the outpouring of the Spirit on 120 souls in an upper room begins with a promise of Jesus just days before He was crucified.
"Nevertheless I tell you the truth. It is to your advantage that I go away, for if I do not go away, the Helper will not come to you, but if I depart, I will send Him to you." St. John 16:7
And, prior to His ascension "He commanded them not to depart from Jerusalem, but to wait for the Promise of the Father, which" He said, "you have heard from Me, for - you shall be baptized with the Holy Spirit not many days from now." - "It is not for you to know times or seasons which the Father has put in His own authority. But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you shall be witnesses to Me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth." Acts 1:4-8.
How God turned a small group of weak and intimidated followers of Jesus into bold powerful witnesses for the Gospel who, without hesitation, laid down their lives for the message of Christ and changed the history of the world can only be explained by the events of Pentecost. Notice verses 1-4 "When the Day of Pentecost had fully come, they were all with one accord in one place. And suddenly there came a sound from heaven, as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled the house where they were sitting. Then there appeared to them divided tongues, as of fire, " And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance."
The Holy Spirit empowered and enabled the first Christians to experience an authentic observable relationship with the resurrected living Jesus and they proclaimed Christ's message of salvation everywhere they were scattered whether by persecution or personal sacrifices. God can and is, continuing to pour out the Spirit's power in this age, to those who seek Him.
Pastor Gene Holman of Living Word Fellowship in Gardnerville is a member of Carson Valley Ministers' Association.